Kazakhstan winter crossing by camel (Christian Bodegren update)

If Marco Polo was a Swede

Soon a year on the road; last we checked in with Amazon legend Christian Bodegren he was in Almaty, hunting for a “winterized” camel to start his 3300 km journey west to the Caspian sea.

The explorer and his new camel, Goliat, did survive the Kazakhstan winter, but barely. Cold winds blowing over a flat landscape in -30 below made survival a challenge.

Christian lost a lot of weight, but for Goliat, this was just another day at the office. At least while there was water. When the desert turned dry and cold, with no snow to melt, to keep available water from freezing, Christian walked with bottles inside his clothes.

Friendly Kazakhs helped out, but sadly, the villages are becoming ghost towns of older people, Bodegren wrote. Passing abandoned settlements of concrete buildings with no doors and windows, Christian says the young are moving to town and the countryside is slowly emptying out.

“It’s like we are forgotten,” one of the locals told him, after watching on television modern buildings mushroom in the cities. “But with you at the Expo,” maybe someone will remember.”

Check in with Christian for the latest: Currently traveling the Silk Road with his camel, he’s a celebrity even with the natives. Dogs bark when he passes and people take pictures of the Viking version of Marco Polo, walking among them like a mirage from days bygone.



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